The introduction of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) high-speed data services – one of the 'fourth generation' options for mobile technology – won't mean the demise of third-generation services. In fact, because the 4G LTE service is mainly designed for data traffic, 3G will become an increasingly-popular choice for voice calls and as a backup data service.
That's the message from Dan Warren, the GSM Association's director of technology, who told Unstrung.com that the commercial lifespan of 3G High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) is very long. He sees today's 167 million HSPA connections increasing to 1.5 billion by 2014, when LTE is expected to become popular.
Computer manufacturer Dell has confirmed it's going to produce a 3G smartphone – the Android-powered Dell Mini 3 – and it'll be selling it through China Mobile (which has more than 500 million customers) and Claro (which has 42 million customers in Brazil). The Chinese version of the Dell Mini 3 will go on sale later this month, the Brazilian phone will be available by the end of the year.